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Old 11-11-2013, 05:44 PM   #1
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Generator Varnish Question

I was just out in my FR3 30DS checking some things regarding my water heater when I started looking at other manuals. I came across the manuals for the generator and the first page got me concerned. I know you have to run the generator every month, but the manual says to run a "full tank" through the generator every month to prevent fuel system varnishing. What?? Since it feeds off the main fuel tank, there is no way anyone would run $250 of gas through the generator every month. How long would a sane person run theirs each month? They also suggest using an additive to the fuel, but again the generator feeds off the vehicle fuel tank how would you use an additive? How much would you use and would it be a problem for the RV engine? Very shocking!
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:52 PM   #2
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https://www.google.com/search?newwin...22.e2i8KecpWLQ

I use it in my gas powered what ever.
Put in the amount called for and run the gen long enough to work it clear thru.
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Old 11-11-2013, 05:54 PM   #3
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Run the genny for an hour each month WITH a load on it. In re: to tank of gas they are more talking about units with small tanks. Also being the main tank is feeding the genny you are using fresh gas often. Now, if your unit sits a lot you will have fuel issues all around. Todays gas does not store long. Some say a month, its starting to go bad.
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:40 PM   #4
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You might be able to stretch the 'life' out of your fuel by using marine grade 'Sta-bil' fuel stabilizer. It's found at many auto parts stores.
Sta-Bil Marine Ethanol Formula
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:43 PM   #5
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If I treat with the STA-BIL for the entire 80gal tank and run the generator for an hour and the engine for a while (drive around for a while), when I run it each month will I still need to run it for an hour since the 12 month additive will be in it?
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoMaster View Post
If I treat with the STA-BIL for the entire 80gal tank and run the generator for an hour and the engine for a while (drive around for a while), when I run it each month will I still need to run it for an hour since the 12 month additive will be in it?

Will you have the batteries on a charger?
If so then I would not worry about it.
If no charger then you should run it long enough to get a good charge on them.
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:51 PM   #7
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I have a 1968 boat with an original Kohler 6.5kva genny. It sucks off the stbd tank and it gets run anywhere from 2 hours per year to 100 hours per year. I have never worried about the fuel, I have had to clean the carb about 2 times in the 20 years I have owned it. No big deal it is about the same as a lawn mower carb. When I do run the genny it will have a pretty good load on it for some period, hot water heater and/or A/C. A caveat, this is a 4 banger 1800rpm genny. My experience with friends that have other types is that 2 cylinder 3600 rpm gennies will give problems related not to fuel but to systems related to 3600rpm and newer electronic controls. Generally they ask to plug into my boat while on the hook overnight.
Summation, run it with a good load if you start it. Probably run it periodically just to exercise it. Mine also has a fuel line shutoff which is in the off position when not in use. This prevents carb trash being renewed from the tank. Probably the most important tool in the box.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:59 PM   #8
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The Onan manual also recommends draining the carburetor if it will be stored for a long time. There's a screw at the low point of the carburetor bowl for draining.

I try to arrive home with about 1/4 tank to minimize carryover of gas that could get old. I put Stabil in the tank if it will be stored for several months, running the generator after I arrive at the storage yard to get the (hopefully well mixed) Stabil into the fuel line to the carb. I have stored it up to four months without Stabil and without running the generator during storage and had no problems. This happens when plans to use the RV again soon fall through.

I run the air conditioner or heat pump to load the generator when I run it.
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:49 PM   #9
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Thanks for the info! I'm going to get some STA-BIL and run the system well. I'll check the manuals for the low point in the carb, if it's not too hard to get at. (I have disability issues making doing things myself somewhat difficult)

I will have the RV plugged in often as we plan to use the fridge in it and sometimes I'll run some heat and watch a DVD when I need an hour or two to myself. When the weather is nice I'll be out and about but when the weather isn't, the coach will be a nice relaxation spot.
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:53 PM   #10
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First and foremost, ethanol gasoline is a curse to all engines and fuel systems that are not run daily like your car. One of the primary reasons for putting the additives in your fuel has to do with ethanol. I had to completely stop running gas with ethanol in my boat...even with additives my boat vapor locked. With that said, if I still had a motorhome, I'd make my last fillup of the season ethanol free gasoline, then load it up with stabilizer additives (the marine grade as someone else suggested) and then run the engine and genny for some period of time once a month during the off season to get the separated fuel components to move out of the fuel system. Bottom line, you just need to move the fuel around in the fuel system. I've done a lot of research (even talked with a chemist at Stabil) and like the "never ending RV tire discussion", there's no right way to do this fuel thing. Also, every few months you need to drain any carburetor bowls to remove water that ethanol gas has attracted.
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